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DRC Opposition Dismisses President's Military Reshuffle

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VOA News - June 15, 2007

Opposition parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo, have dismissed President Joseph Kabila's reshuffle of the top brass of the military as a sham. The reshuffle comes after the president urged the army and the police to ensure peace and stability across the country. But opposition parties claim the reshuffle is aimed at putting Kabila's aides in top defense positions.

Doctor Mbwebwe Kabamba is a leading member of the opposition. From the capital, Kinshasa he told VOA that people are disappointed in President Kabila's government.

"I think that the president is looking at ways to show that he is doing something because the disappointment here is very deep in the population. Simply because after the elections people are expecting something different from what we are facing right now," Kabamba pointed out.

He said people's hopes in their elected officials are fading because the government so far has failed to meet their needs.

"We have a government, we have elected people, and we expect a lot from all those people?I can tell you that people are a little bit indifferent about the reshuffle simply because the most important things are food, school fees, and transportation. Social problems are more important for the time being than anything else. I can say that insecurity is another big issue," he said.

Kabamba said President Kabila is not solving the problems confronting ordinary people.

"May be it could be a way of finding a way out, but in reality what I want to tell you is that we have many problems, in the east for instance, we have serious problems of insecurity. But apart from that? people are expecting to have a social life, which is different from what it was during the transitional period. People are saying we don't' understand it, it's exactly the same to some extent we can say it is worse than the transitional period? there is disappointment about those elections," Kabamba noted.

He said there is little hope that President Kabila's government can solve the country's problems.

"I think that people will judge according to what would really happen. Is it going to bring a change, fundamental change in the life we have today? It's rather unlikely. I really think it's a move? about turning about the bush without finding the real solution," he said.

Kabamba urged President Kabila and his government to take a holistic approach in solving the country's problems.

"There is a crisis for the time being in the country? and we have to address all the issues at the same time. The military issue is a problem, I don't deny that, but the social problem is also a very big problem we have to face. Don't only address one issue forgetting about the other problems," Kabamba noted.

He said people are apathetic about the president's military reshuffle. 

"The majority of the people are indifferent. Some people who are interested in political matters can say okay, is it going to bring about the issue about the security in the country? Let's wait and see, " Kabamba said.

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